Posted by griotcircle
You don’t have to be a resident of Houston, Los Angeles or Miami to realize most everyone you encounter is bilingual. Last week I took the leap, broke through my fear and claimed the courage to start learning Spanish. I found free beginner classes at a local library. That day I was one of two newcomers to the class of just nine students, most of whom are retirees who work part-time and refuse to stop learning. I was off to a slow start since my classmates have been students of Miss Nellie for a year, and others for just two weeks. After the one-hour class some students approached me to offer encouragement to return since I seemed to struggle. Then we sat and talked for an hour about our housing horror stories, discovered similar interests and planned to meet for cocktails.
So what’s holding you back from at least learning the basics of a language that has popped up all around you or interests you or would give you an advantage socially or professionally? Demographic statistics from a 2008 report reveal 34% of the population in America speaks Spanish. In most demographic reports tracking ethnic cultures, Spanish influence has been on a steady upswing. But French and Italian can also be fun and useful in your daily routine. It’s often easier to read about getting started on a new project than actually launching through the start gate. So for an added nudge here are some tips to help you take the next step to being less bi-curious and actually bilingual:
> Get a friend to enroll with you and be your practice sounding board, and vice versa. If your friends are reluctant, rest assured you will make new friends in the class who will be eager to be practice pals.
> Set realistic goals like learning the most common greetings, statements and questions asked in public settings. And don’t rush the process, keep it fun. Learn at your pace.
> Ask the librarian at a nearby branch to search their computer database for free community classes. Also inquire at local community centers. You may be required to make a copy of a page or two for your use in each session. The best part is there are no tests to take!
Did you or someone you know just start a language class, how is it going? Is this something you have been putting off, why?